Best IEM for classical music under 150$

I don’t know almost anything about IEMs and want to buy my first one, so I need some recommendations. I just listen to classical music, including orchestral, piano solo, violin solo pieces and operas. I think a tuning more neutral would fit better (not sure, tho). My budget is 150$ and my main focus is on piano and orchestral pieces, so the vocals are secondary.

1 Like

Talking about piano and orchestral pieces, I listen to mainly Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Chopin, Alkan, Dvořák, Bach, Royer, Schubert, Schumann, Smetana, Villa-Lobos, Carlos Gomes, John Fields, Stravinsky, Mahler, Brahms, Haydn, Max Bruch, Sibelius, Mozart, all the Strauss, Ravel, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, etc.


Well classical is hard because there’s the “neutral” that comes with sitting right next to a piano or string instrument which is like diffuse field or etymotic target in which case you can check out the ER2SE

Or there’s sitting in the perfect spot in the auditorium or listening to classical on speakers which is like IEF target which basically greatly tames treble and has a bit of a bass boost in which case definitely check out Truthears Zero Red which also comes with a way for you to adjust bass without using EQ

Neither of these IEMs are great technically so like the soundstage is narrow and the imaging is ok and the dynamics are so-so but the point is you’re going to get your ideal tuning sound which is most important for classical imo since you want that piano to sound like a concert grand Steinway and not an upright Heintzman :wink:


Tysm for the recommendation! I don’t understand anything about sound signature, but is the Truthear Zero Red’s signature much different from ea500’s? Truthear Zero Red, Hexa and Simgot Ea500 were the IEMs that most interested me in videos, but I’m scared about Ea500 being to much “brighter” for classical music. Atst, I’m afraid that hexa is too much neutral


Talking about the experience I wanna have, I think it’s like when you’re watching a real concerto. You have a certain distance; you hear the whole stage, where the instruments are placed; you can feel the depth of the sound of the brass, the metal, the timpani… You feel the double bass in the right corner, you hear the piano slightly to the left, where the violins are… I want the IEM with the best sound and that gets the closest to this kind of detail inside my budget.

1 Like

The IEMs mentioned above have weak technical characteristics. You won’t get soundstage, depth and a good concert experience with them. As FR they may be responsible, but they have nothing else! :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face:

I know I can’t get that level of detail in this limited budget, I just want to know the closest I can get to that under 150$

1 Like

You’re talking about soundstage and imaging here…soundstage being the sense of width and depth and imaging being that placement of instruments within the
soundstage, so look for comments in reviews that include that as a strength.
The other very important aspect is, of course Timbre which is a key requirement
for me as well. You could take a look at the Tripowin Olina SE for $99 as an
example. My iem experience is somewhat limited so I will leave other suggestions to those here with more knowledge. Take time with your research, wish you well.
(And yes, I was a timpanist/percussionist, lol.) Love Rachmaninov’s concertos!


For this price, I would also recommend Olina SE. It’s an easy recommendation and I guess it’s still undefeated to $100. :slightly_smiling_face:


If isolation is not needed. Then go for flathead earbuds, they totally dominate iems with those requirements.


Yeah actually this is a great recommendation especially since classical has basically no sub-bass which apart from isolation is the only thing buds lack :+1:
But ya $150 buds will have wayyyy better technicalities than a $150 IEM


Tysm for the help! I’ll check the Olina SE and search those aspects in reviews.

Tysm! I’ll check it.

Tysm for the recommendation, but I don’t really want a earbud. I would prefer an IEM even though I may lose some sound quality. Maybe those details I mentioned before are also secondary. I think the most important things here are the sound quality and good tuning for classical music

Lucass, I also have the Olinas (the originals, now filter modded) and I can second the recommendation among IEMs in this price range for classical music, which is 95% of what I listen to.

But I will also say (and then I’ll leave it alone) that when earbuds were first suggested to me right here in these forums, I immediately pictured either wireless ear pods or else those janky wired things that came for free with portable players back in the day. I had no idea there was this special little realm of high-quality modern earbuds with amazing mids, amazing timbre, amazing soundstage… (I wish someone would come up with a new name for them!) Suffice to say, it was a revelation and I don’t listen to classical music on anything else but earbuds now. Like ever.

Of course, you may need sound isolation, which earbuds can’t provide. Or you just might want to try out some iems because you want to! If so, it’s all good and enough said.

And no matter what, welcome.


Ear bud x2 at this price point.


Tysm! I just don’t understand one thing:
When you say earbud, you mean wired or wireless earbuds? I really don’t want wireless earbuds…

EA500 play violins, cello and piano very nicely. They have excellent amount of detail retrieval, and natural note weight. EA500 got great instrument separation and wider than average sound stage. They do lack sound stage depth, and imaging is not as good as you probably need. Instruments presented wide, but kinda in one row, not enough depth for me. With red nozzles I prefer them over Olina SE overall. EA500 has a better driver.

You should order several IEMs from Amazon, have a listen and keep the one you like.

I can’t do that unfortunately. A parent will buy for me on the US, since it’s way cheaper than importing. Ea500 is one of my main options, though. I’m just afraid it’s to brighter for some pieces that already have a lot of dynamics.
I think sound stage is kinda secondary as well

Lucass, we’re talking about wired earbuds here. ASWMDanny recently made a nice overview video of 30 buds:

You’ll see one of @Rikudou_Goku’s custom buds mentioned in this video by the way. (He’s already commented above.) For your price range, he makes as good an earbud as you’ll find, and I’m sure he can tell you which of his buds would be best for Classical.

If you want to try out the idea first (fit, isolation, etc.), there are some cheap buds that will give you a really good indication of whether buds are right for you. And amazing performance for so little money. You hinted at a US address, so what the hell, if you DM me your address I’ll send you one! Least I can do for a fellow Classical fan.